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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

These 5 Leadership Training Areas Help You Take Managers From Good to Great

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

When you promote an employee to manager or supervisor, you’re providing an opportunity for greater rewards and responsibility. To be successful, your new managers need to refine their leadership skills. CRM Learning offers videos that cover the leadership training topics your management team needs in order to be effective. Here are 5 specific training areas that can provide a positive impact in your workplace.

5 Leadership Training Areas that Help Take Managers From Good to Great

  1. Communication Skills: The best leaders are first-rate communicators. Through their words, they motivate and inspire others, build accountability, and establish relationships that bring out the best in people. Managers who strive to be great leaders must learn to speak in a clear and effective manner, ask the right questions, and know when and how to listen. Recommended Training Resource: The Respectful Supervisor: Motivating and Retaining Employees
  2. Influencing & Negotiation Skills: Because managers typically oversee projects as well as people, they will be more successful if they know how to influence and negotiate with the people around them. These skills ensure that the work gets done and goals are met….without compromising relationships. Recommended Training Resource: Leading the Way: Negotiating with Influence
  3. Leadership Accountability: Managers play a key role in creating and maintaining an accountable workplace. Teach them how to hold themselves and others accountable and you will reduce unproductive behavior while improving employee engagement and results. Recommended Training Resource: Accountability That Works!
  4. Mentoring & Coaching: Both formal and informal mentoring are essential for knowledge transfer and succession planning. Show your managers that coaching and mentoring are something they should both give and receive; then, be sure to support these efforts at the organizational level.  Widespread use of mentoring and coaching ensures that everyone receives ongoing encouragement while benefitting from the practical experience of others.Recommended Training Resource: Insights to Better Mentoring.
  5. Problem Solving & Decision Making: The ability to solve problems and make decisions is crucial for managers at all levels. Great leaders have the ability to step back and view problems from a broader perspective — often uncovering root causes instead of simply “putting out fires.” Educate your leaders on the things that derail group dynamics and provide them with collaboration tools that help them work with their teams to find effective solutions and make better decisions. Recommended Training Resources: 5 Questions Every Leader Must Ask

Making an investment in leadership training allows you to develop leaders that will set your organization up for long-term success. By covering these five important training areas, you will improve the performance of your managers and the employees who report to them.

How to Bring More Enthusiasm and Positivity to Your Work Environment with FISH! Philosophy Video Training

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

The Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle is an unusual place. As you scan the seafood being sold, you might look up to find a fish flying above your head. FishGuysThe people who work in this market are enthusiastic, hamming it up for their customers and creating a great experience (including throwing fish to their colleagues!), all while getting the job done. This unique and effective approach to workplace positivity led to the FISH! Philosophy, a set of ideas that are applicable to nearly every work environment. Bring the enthusiasm and positivity you’ll find at Pike Place Fish Market to your own work environment with the FISH! training video.

What is the FISH! Philosophy?

The FISH! Philosophy centers around four basic tenants that lead to a great experience for both employees and customers:

  1. Be There: Employees shouldn’t just be at their job physically, they should be present emotionally, as well. They are there to do good work and engage with the people around them. Employees who are “in the moment” have more fun, are more productive, and provide a better customer experience.
  2. Choose Your Attitude: Employees choose whether to view their job positively or negatively. Choosing a positive attitude notably increases enthusiasm and productivity.
  3. Play: Work doesn’t have to be a drag. Having fun at work inspires creativity and helps in maintaining a positive attitude. When customers see employees having fun, they’ll feel happier and be more likely to return.
  4. Make Their Day: The people who work at Pike Place Fish Market go out of their way to brighten their customers’ day. By making a difference in others’ lives, the employees increase their own happiness, creating positivity for everyone involved.

FISH! Training Video

The FISH! Philosophy can lead to a huge change in the way your workplace functions. The FISH! training video is one of the most effective ways to introduce this style of thinking to employees. The FISH! video gives watchers a playful view of what the average customer experiences when visiting the Pike Place Fish Market, flying fish and all. Viewers receive a point-by-point explanation of what makes the FISH! Philosophy unique, and how they can use it to make their work environment more energetic, positive, and fun.

Recommended Training Resources
The FISH! video package has everything you need to inspire positivity and success in your workplace. This 18-minute video lays out the four tenants of this philosophy in an energetic and engaging way.

Conversation with a Purpose

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

rick-harry_smGuest Post by Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D.

I confess – I pilfered the title of this article from a man who was renowned as a wise and insightful pathfinder in the field of diversity, Dr. Roosevelt Thomas. A sample of that wisdom is seen in his statement, “Dialogue is conversation with a purpose.” In essence, he is saying that, in order to have real dialogue, we need to know what we want to accomplish during the conversation – we need to set a goal.

Let’s face it, goal setting is important in any aspect of life. If, for example, we dream of a trip to Paris, but neglect to set a goal of saving the amount of money required, the chances of us ever dining at the top of the Eiffel Tower are pretty slim. That’s because we will spend small amounts on other things along the way and get off track.

The same principle applies to conversation. If we don’t know what we want to accomplish, we won’t make the word and attitude choices that will get us to that goal. It is especially likely that we will get off track if we have a strong emotion associated with the interaction. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about along with the kinds of productive goals you might set for each incident.

Example 1: You have been offended by what someone has said or done.
Possible Goals:
A. To embarrass the person and make him or her feel guilty
B. To educate the person about your point of view

As tempting as option “A” might be (let’s be honest, “guilt-tripping” is sometimes tinged with a perverse personal satisfaction), the most productive answer is “B.” Guilt is, after all, rarely a good motivator of change. Your act of trying to make the other person feel guilty will accomplish little more than making them defensive and, in turn, become utterly unable to listen to what you have to say.

Example 2: You have made a clumsy or ignorant remark that you think might have offended someone around you.
Possible Goals:
A. To show respect for your colleagues by calling attention to what you did and apologizing.
B. To minimize the importance and impact of what you said by ignoring it.

The goal here is “A.” The very fact that you are willing to take responsibility for your error shows, not only that you want to communicate respect, but that you are prepared to model truly inclusive behavior.

To return to Dr. Thomas – “Dialogue is conversation with a purpose.” I think he would agree that, if we don’t know where we are going – whether it be in conversation or in life — we just might end up someplace we’d rather not be.

This article is excerpted from the video program, Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments Into Productive Conversations, which features Sondra and a variety of vignettes depicting these concepts.

Sondra Thiederman can be contacted for webinars or in-person presentations. For additional information, go to http://thiederman.com

© copyright 2013 Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D.

 

 

 

Beware of These Common Cognitive Biases

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

If critical thinking was easy, everyone would do it.

Every day we are faced with cognitive challenges to effective thinking. From emotions to unchecked assumptions and ambiguous data, we constantly make decisions without applying the rigors of critical thinking. Cognitive biases are frequent barriers to rational thought and effective decision making, but we are rarely conscious of our own biases.

Here’s a great graphic from Business Insider (see just below) that shows 20 of the most popular cognitive biases in decision making. (more…)

10 Guidelines for Ethical Leadership

Monday, June 8th, 2015

If you have the responsibility of leading and influencing others, it’s important that you remain aware of the impact you have on them in the area of integrity and ethics. Employees who see ethical behavior modeled by their manager or supervisor are more likely to act in kind. Additionally, employees who rate their leader as “ethical” typically have greater job satisfaction and higher levels of commitment.Ethics 4 Everyone video

Here are 10 guidelines for ethical leadership, along with corresponding action steps to help you put the guidelines into practice: (more…)

Why Transparency Matters

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Alcon_group1Transparency in business – it’s become quite the buzzword. And like all buzzwords, it’s easy to think of it as just another fad. It’s also easy for an organization to pay lip service to the idea without ever following through. But transparency is important for everyone: employees, leaders, customers, and — for publicly-held companies — stockholders.

Here’s how it impacts each group.

1. Employees
When employees are clear about the “why” behind their assigned projects and tasks, they’re much more prepared to do what needs to be done – which could include them making suggestions for improvements that would otherwise never have been imagined, simply because there wasn’t enough information available.
Educate every employee about the importance and relevance of what they’re asked to do, and you’ll have a more motivated, thoughtful, and productive workforce. Keep them in the dark, and you’re inviting mistakes, lackadaisical performance, and disengagement.
(more…)

You’re Not the Enemy

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

bluecollar4Put people into a situation where they disagree, and pretty soon they’re squaring off at each other, each one digging in their heels and working hard to find reasons why they’re right and the other person is wrong.

We all do it. We do it in business meetings, in customer service situations, with colleagues, and even with the people we love most. It seems logical. After all, we want to win the argument. We want the other person to back down, to admit that we know best, to go along with what we want. Of course, that’s exactly what the other person wants as well. So there you are, each of you getting more and more frustrated and angry. In extreme cases, the conversation gets destructive and relationships fall apart.

And yet, there’s one simple concept that changes the whole scenario. What if neither of you was the enemy? What if, despite the fact that you’re disagreeing about something, you could come together as partners to find a way through, instead of battling it out?

It’s a radical shift that creates radical results. And you don’t even have to tell the other person what you’re doing. Just say to yourself, “This person is not the enemy,” and see how it changes how you feel and think, and what you say and do.

Recommended training resource: The barriers that go up between departments and individuals within an organization are destructive, and they can seem insurmountable. Of course, so too, did the Berlin Wall. In our program Tearing Down Walls, renowned management consultant, author, and speaker Dr. Stephen R. Covey uses the tearing down of the Berlin Wall as a powerful metaphor for the ways that people within organizations can break down the barriers between departments.

 

Unspoken Feedback

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Leadership TrainingEver wonder what your employees are thinking about you?

If so, you’re probably a better-than-average leader who takes the time to observe body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, so you can tell when someone’s frustrated, confused, or just plain upset about something that’s happened.

But even in the best of manager/employee relationships, you’re probably not going to get the type of  in-depth honest feedback that might help you make real changes. Even in organizations where 360-degree reviews are consistently used, feedback isn’t always timely – or completely honest.

So what’s a manager to do when s/he wants to improve?

It goes back to observation, and to caring about what your team thinks and feels.

It’s not hard to learn how people act when they’re upset, hurt, frustrated, or angry.

It’s not hard to notice when something you’ve done has triggered their reaction.

It can be hard to be honest enough with yourself to acknowledge the connection between your actions and their reactions, and to be vulnerable enough to explore how you might do things differently in the future. (more…)

6 Tell-Tale Symptoms of the Abilene Paradox

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Team Effectiveness TrainingIn our previous article we wrote about a humorous family “trip to Abilene” and the concept of the Abilene Paradox.  We also discussed
how the Paradox affects us in both our personal and work lives.   Today, we’ll explore six tell-tale symptoms of the Paradox.

Remember that professor Jerry Harvey described the Abilene Paradox as the inability to manage agreement rather than the inability to manage conflict.  This inability to manage agreement is the essential symptom that defines individuals and organizations caught in the web of the Abilene Paradox.

Consider this workplace scenario:

Sue, Tony, Jasmine and their manager, Chris, all have strong reservations about implementing a proposed procedural change.  Individually, each one is convinced the change will cause more problems than it will solve.  BUT, because the proposed change was suggested by a highly-paid consultant, and because no one else is voicing their concerns, each individual claims to support the plan (when they really don’t). The procedural change goes forward…seemingly with unanimous consent.  Later, when troubling operational issues surface, the  group members get annoyed with  one another and blame the consultant for giving bad advice. Eventually—despite a hefty investment in the flawed new procedure—the organization decides to go back to the old way of doing things.  Susan, Tony, Jasmine and Chris never discuss the matter again. (more…)


 

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